Since the first edition, we’ve grown to 44 active subscribers! Thank you for joining me on this journey!
If you’re new here, each edition I pick a theme or topic and talk about AI applications and integration surrounding that topic. This edition’s topic is Health and Fitness. Here’s what’s in store:
The Writing: I discuss the role of AI and some of the limitations it faces in this industry.
AI Tools: I’ve featured a few tools that support this topic. Unfortunately, one of the tools adopted the work ethic of a hibernating bear. I’m pretty sure dial-up internet would win a race against it.
AI news: A lot has happened the past 2 weeks since the last edition. I’ll take a moment to catch you up with the latest, but it’s going away next edition 😢
Bonus: All subscribers are now able to refer their friends to this newsletter. If you refer someone to this newsletter and they accept the opt-in email, you’ll get a special link to the Google Drive containing all of the Midjourney images that were generated for these newsletters.
This edition was inspired by my own weight loss journey. Cutting the details, I’m living a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
When I was planning this edition, I thought to myself “what does AI look like for the health and fitness world?” Grab your cup of coffee but skip the sugar. I challenge you to do 1 pushup for every paragraph in this edition.
We’re always on this quest to find solutions to solve our problems. Innovations in the AI industry has opened the door to so many possibilities to find solutions we would’ve never even thought of.
Given this however, health is extremely complicated. Each human is intricate and unique (or, in the wise words of a person who’s close to me, 'peculiar'). We all have limitations with what we can do physically, mentally, and emotionally. That said, however, the health industry has a TON of data, and AI can help us process this data and provide insights like we couldn’t see before.
I believe there's room for AI to significantly support one's health and fitness journey, though it does come with its limitations. Couple this together with understanding the applications of the limitations of generated content.
In order for us to understand the integration of AI, we need to understand the limitations. You don’t want to be developing a product or service and not have the scope defined, which can lead to over promising. I discussed limitations with respect to Large Language Models (LLM’s) in the last edition, but if you missed it, here’s a brief overview:
LLM’s lack contextual information,
LLM’s could be trained on bias/under-representative data,
LLM’s may not generate factual and correct information.
Now, applying these limitations to the fitness industry, here’s where I can see AI having trouble:
Of course, there’s many more, but I want to discuss a few in a little bit more detail:
Workout Generation: If we were to ask something like ChatGPT “provide me a HIIT workout”, it’s going to assume that I am fully capable of doing a HIIT workout and all of the exercises associated with it. If you haven’t hit the gym in a few months, doing a HIIT workout might not be a great idea.
Meal Planning: Suppose you’re trying to generate recipes for a new diet you’re following. The AI tool generates a cashew chicken meal, but isn’t aware that you have a nut allergy. While you could prompt it to say “I have a nut allergy, please do not generate any recipes that contains nuts”, it may still have been processed alongside nuts in the factory.
Continuous Feedback: AI's capabilities to provide feedback are primarily based on pre-established parameters and algorithms. A human trainer or coach can see minor defects in form, for instance, and provide the feedback in real-time.
I don’t want to undermine the benefits of AI in this industry. Here’s a few ways in which AI is actually beneficial:
Home Gyms: Home gyms made their waves during the COVID-19 pandemic. These home gyms are able adjust weights, keep track of your workouts, and certain platforms can pinpoint form-related issues.
A Stepping Stone: Generative AI applications are a great way to get going in the right direction and provide a baseline for a workout or a diet. Doing so allows you to get over the equivalent of “the writer’s block” towards a step in the right direction.
Management: Having a logger of some sorts that’s backed by generative AI can provide insights that you don’t get from a traditional meal logging software. Having a tool like this at your disposal allows you to gain critical analysis to help you remain on track.
We already AI integrated with a few home gym systems, such as Tempo Fit. One unique thing I like about this product is that it is able to give you real-time feedback about your form (no, I’m not affiliated with them).
Keep in mind that this was made with respect to the individual looking to use AI for health and fitness. Companies looking to leverage AI for their clients is a different can of worms; there can be a fair amount of discussion around injury rehabilitation, for instance.
What are your thoughts on this topic? See another application of AI in the health and fitness industry? Drawbacks? Let me know over on Twitter!
Disclaimer: AI tools, such as the ones below, are meant to support and not replace professional healthcare providers. Please consult a healthcare provider before starting a new fitness program.
1. Meal Practice Recipe Generator
Using both stable diffusion and ChatGPT, you’re able to produce a healthy and hearty recipe in just a few clicks. Select your primary protein, nutritional style, and cuisine type and in a matter of few seconds you’ll have a recipe at your fingertips. You can check out this generator out on the Meal Practice website. (Share on Twitter)
AI recipe generator interface
2. Yesil Health AI
Yesil Health AI is a personal health assistant backed by GPT to help you with your workouts and health-related queries.
I input a query for a HIIT-based workout but also told it to not give me squats, and it gave me a full body HIIT workout with no weights. I should try this next time I go into the gym!
Yesil Health AI chatbot screenshot
3. Roast My Meal
This one’s a fun one to play around with. Upload an image of your food and get roasted by GPT. I ran the fruit-filled Midjourney image from above to see if it does what it says.
I’ve got bad news to report. I waited ~15 minutes for the roast and nothing happened. Maybe the tool is too busy contemplating whether pineapple belongs on pizza. Pretty sure I’ll have better odds of finding Bigfoot riding a unicorn at this point. Who knows, maybe you should visit their website and see for yourself. (Share on Twitter)
Special Mention: Apple’s “Quartz”
According to The Verge, Apple is working on an AI-powered health coach. It’s expected to come out later this year (fall 2023) and use the data to create and enhance workouts, help keep your diet on track, and maybe even help with sleep.
At the WWDC conference earlier this month, Apple had unveiled a journaling app called Journal. It’s designed to allow users to log their daily activities. I’m not implying anything, but I think we can connect the dots here 🤷
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